Young gym­nast is aim­ing to reach the top

We con­tinue our cov­er­age of Franklin Ju­nior Sports Awards win­ners. Briar Hub­bard chats to tal­ented gym­nast Madi­son Plum­merFono­toe.

Franklin County News - - SPORT -

Madi­son Plummer-Fono­toe dreams of com­pet­ing at the Olympics one day.

The 13-year-old gym­nast has set the right foun­da­tions to do so, af­ter be­ing named the Un­der 13 Sportswoman of the Year at the Franklin Ju­nior Sports Awards ear­lier this year.

Madi­son com­peted at the Gym­sports Na­tional Cham­pi­onships in In­ver­cargill in Oc­to­ber.

She placed sec­ond over­all, and was first in beam, floor and bars, and sec­ond in vault.

Through­out 2016 she placed first over­all at seven com­pe­ti­tions.

She said it felt good be­ing awarded the ti­tle off the back of such a suc­cess­ful year - and it was all thanks to her coach Ni­cole Palmer, of Franklin Gym­sports.

‘‘She took me to my com­pe­ti­tions and has been teach­ing me to get bet­ter and bet­ter.

‘‘She is al­ways push­ing me to my fullest and en­cour­ag­ing me to do my best and gives me lots of sup­port.’’

Madi­son said she was thrilled to have been able to com­pete at na­tion­als for the first time last year, and it has given her a taste of what she wants to be do­ing as she gets older.

‘‘Na­tion­als is re­ally hard and you re­ally have to be on top of your game.

‘‘There were lots of peo­ple watch­ing and you’d think that ev­ery­body clap­ping would put you off, but I blocked it all out and it was cool that ev­ery­one was sup­port­ing me.

’’It was re­ally fun and a good ex­pe­ri­ence...I tried my hard­est and that’s all I could do.’’

She said floor and bars were her favourite ap­pa­ra­tus.

How­ever, it is floor where she can have fun and be her­self.

‘‘You can’t re­ally go wrong that eas­ily with floor be­cause you get to ex­press your­self in your dance move­ment.’’

While she hopes she will be wear­ing the sil­ver fern one day, her next com­pe­ti­tion is the Mid Is­land Gym­sports com­pe­ti­tion in June.

She will then com­pete at the Christchurch School of Gym­nas­tics Clas­sic com­pe­ti­tion in July.

‘‘My goal is just to try my hard­est and see how far I can go and push my­self,’’ she said.

Madi­son Plummer-Fono­toe was named Un­der 13 Sportswoman of the Year at the Franklin Ju­nior Sports Awards.

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